Mailbag: Enlightenment Arrives

You can’t study the darkness by flooding it with light

~ Edward Abbey


Oh Guy….. I had the eureka moment today all thanks to me trying so hard to debunk you. Let me back up. Forgive me for a little back story into myself but I have been spending weeks watching all of your online work and just finished your book “Going Dark.” I was raised conservative Christian and decided to debunk evolution once and for all…. Reading Darwin, etc. Needless to say, biology is based on evolution and naturally I am atheist after that. Having never met another atheist in person I naturally set out to share the good news with all my family and friends that there was no god and we can be free to sleep in on Sundays etc. As you can imagine I no longer have a relationship with those people and it is a bit sad. Even now I regret, though I was correct, I perhaps went about it poorly. Anyway it taught me the value of thinking as much as possible for myself.
I should say after that I wanted to help others as a doctor so double majored in Biology and Chemistry. Being a “B” student and having my curiosity get the best of me on side things I never got into medical school and instead work in the construction trades. The story of so many. Anyway I wanted to get to the root of the climate change thing, PBS’s NOVA and Nature were taking about it for years but what is the truth of the matter for a lay person such as myself? I first saw you on the Bill Nye perhaps last year talking about near term human extinction and how you didn’t expect an orange tree live to develop fruit. That what shocking to say the least. The program when on to suggest a positive outcome if only we did such and such.
You came up again in my YouTube feed through a link from the Canadian Prepper channel. I then watched many of your things and ordered and read your book in an attempt to debunk this near term stuff with all the other climatologists still saying we have time etc. I was about 84 pages in through so very dated yet perhaps still interesting stuff when I finally got to the nugget that convinced me. Much like a basic understanding of Abiogenesis deconverted me in 20 seconds years ago—so too when you talked about the heat of fusion for the arctic ice. It dawned on me, remembering all these calculations and lab experiments from years ago. Most of the heat goes into the ice without the temperature changing until the state has changed from ice to liquid. This is exactly what has been happening in the artic. Why our temperatures at this latitude haven’t changed much etc. But once the ice is gone, much less heat will actually raise the temperature. It is so simple to understand a first year chemist should be able to get it very quickly. It is quite easy to see once that barrier of ice is gone, 130F could come very quickly delaminating the proteins in life and killing our habitat and by extension us.
So congratulations your work has convinced me……now what? Perhaps this love thing you talk of and more gallows humor is all that is left. Maybe something new will evolve and study our remains like the ancient Minoans on the island of Santorini. Perhaps future life will learn from our mistakes before Sol blots out the planet and somehow that comforts me. Some microbes or perhaps life will revolve completely anew in perhaps millions of years from now. And perhaps a fossil of your book found will be the hot topic of their day and it will divert their civilization from calamity. Perhaps this future life will reach the Stars and other dimensions with knowledge of Homo sapiens in its databanks. Perhaps it will success where we have failed. Ever the optimist,

Thank you, Neil. You’ve been on quite a journey. Good for you.

We share a birthday! I was born 29 February 1960.